Brazil travel guide



Brazil Travel Guide

Football in Brazil

Football in Brazil Football is the most prominent sport in Brazil. They are a successful footballing nation who have won many awards, including 5 FIFA World Cups. The most popular sport in Brazil is Football. The National Team is immensely popular, not only in Brazil but also in the many parts of the world where football is appreciated, and there is also a renowned National League, boasting a nation-wide competition as well as several regional competitions.
The Brazilian national team has been victorious in the FIFA World Cup tournament a record five times, in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002 and is the only team to have never missed a World Cup participation. Pelé, one of the world's most recognized players, led Brazil to three of those championships and is the top scorer of all time in the sport. After the third win, Brazil kept the World Cup trophy permanently. Brazil competed in the 2006 World Cup as one of the favorites to win the competition, however it placed only 5th. Some of the contemporary talents in the national team prominent in the football world include Romário, Rivaldo and Ronaldo. Some of these players can be considered super-stars, achieving celebrity status internationally and signing sports contracts, as well as advertisement and endorsement contracts, in the value of millions of dollars. The current holder of the title of best football player in the world, according to FIFA, is Ronaldinho, who won the FIFA World Player of the Year prize in 2004 and 2005.

Football culture

Football quickly became a passion for Brazilians, who often refer to Brazil as "o país do futebol" ("the football country"). Over 10,000 Brazilians play professionally at home and all over the world.

Football has a major effect on Brazilian culture. It is often the favorite past time of youngsters that can be found playing football on the streets. World Cup tournaments are a social phenomenon, and it is not unusual for people to skip work to watch the national team play, and in some cases the very workplace will set up apparatus for its employees to watch the event together. It should be noted that the General Elections are usually held in the same year as the World Cup, and this is often criticized for taking advantage of the nationalistic surge created by football and bringing it into politics. Also, former football players are often elected to legislative positions.

One unique aspect of football in Brazil is the existence and importance of the Brazilian state championships. For much of the early development of the game in Brazil the nation size and the lack of rapid transport made national competitions unfeasible, so the competition centered on state tournaments and sometimes inter-state competitions, such as the Torneio Rio-São Paulo. Even today, despite the existence of a national tournament, the state tournaments continue to be hotly contested and the intra-state rivalries remain intense.

The development of a single state championship did not have the effect intended: instead of allowing all of the best teams in Brazil to compete with each other, it led to a lot of new clubs forming in order to share some of the success, this increased amount of clubs led to a wider spread of the talent, and an actual fall in the quality of football. Some of the more successful teams did not like the change, including Fluminense who complained that they were forced to travel across the country to play teams they had not heard of.

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